Former President Uhuru Kenyatta's injection of close to Ksh 3.6 billion into Kisumu Port has raised the fortunes of locals by tripling their income as the city develops into a regional economic hub.
Speaking during the commissioning of the New Kipevu Oil terminus, on Monday, September 19, Kisumu Port MD - John Mwangemi - said noted that rehabilitation has increased the port capacity to 450,000 leading to a high demand of cargo from neighbouring countries, Uganda and Tanzania
“As a result of the strong and resilient performance of the shipping and logistic industry, the authority has continued to invest in port infrastructure, equipment and modernisation programs,” Mwangemi stated.
The Kisumu port, which was established in 1901, roared back to life after Uhuru launched its rehabilitation in 2018, together with the MV Uhuru I and II.
The port is now benefiting local traders and industries with exports and imports plying between Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
Further, the commissioning of Kisumu Port provided an opportunity for Kenya to up its game in competing with South Africa and Egypt in building shipyards.
Currently, Kenya Railway is helping to improve the port by moving oil products from Mombasa to the Kisumu port by rail.
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) lauded the rehabilitation of the Kisumu Port as a game changer, citing the investment made in new port infrastructure, equipment and modernization programs that have improved customer service delivery.
The port has also enabled the supply of millions of liters in oil to Jinja, Kampala and Mwanza in Tanzania with millions of cargo being transported to the East African Community.
Uganda was said to be constructing two ships that will be used to transport cargo and Oil from Kisumu Port following its rehabilitation.
Further, the facility is expected to export goods like fertiliser, cement, rice, spare parts and cargo to the East African Community
In 2021, KPA Managing Director John Mwangemi assured residents that the port was ready to handle more than 100,000 tonnes of goods annually once the Kisumu-Nakuru railway is connected to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Additionally, figures from KPA have shown that 10 ships dock at the port every month, with much of the goods being exported rather than imported.
Kisumu Port is also scaling up business and boosting trade. The refurbished port is creating job opportunities directly and indirectly to benefit thousands of youths in the area.